Manchester Central kick off their first competitive fixture of the new season with a chance at a trophy, when they face Chadderton Reserves in the Terry Wood Cup this Thursday (KO 20:05).
Central go into the super cup of sorts as Murray Trophy winners, whilst Chadderton Reserves booked their place in the competition as last season’s winners of the Manchester Football League Division One.
The match was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday 21 July at Chadderton’s Ark Fleetech Stadium, but due to postponements it will now be hosted as an evening kick-off on Thursday.
The new venue for the game is The Manchester College’s Nichols Campus, where Manchester Central have set up home base once again for the new season.
After Central successfully secured second place in the Division One table last season, and promotion too alongside Chadderton, it will be a top-of-the-table clash from last season to kick start the new year of football.
However, with the game coming as both teams are just beginning to get back into the swing of their pre-season campaigns, it remains to be seen whether fitness factors will play a role in the outcome of the match.
Similarly, it could be a chance for a number of fresh faces to make their competitive debuts for both sides.
Central will be without last season’s goalkeeper Jordan Hadlow, after he departed this summer to join opponents Chadderton’s senior team – who play in the North-West Counties league. However, manager Paul McGuire is confident in the new faces brought in to replace and strengthen his Central side.
Central won their latest pre-season match 4-1 at home to Poynton FC last Saturday.
McGuire will be hoping his side can start the new season in the same way they ended the last – with celebrations and their hands on some silverware.